A Reply to Joanna Bogle Respecting the Third Secret of Fatima

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Part I:
Post-conciliar correctness versus
the truth about Fatima

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The respected English Catholic journalist Joanna Bogle is an intelligent woman and an accomplished writer whose objectivity concerning the crisis in the Church, however, is hampered by an ideological commitment to post-conciliar correctness. An indefatigable defender of whatever the post-conciliar “regime of novelty” has officially approved, even though the post-conciliar “reforms” have produced nothing but decline and corruption in the Church, Bogle’s blinkered view of the ecclesial scene does not allow her to recognize the seriousness of traditionalist objections to what Cardinal Ratzinger so rightly described as “a continuing process of decay” since the Council. Her response to these objections is that of an ideologue: demagogy and character assassination.

Rather than engaging traditionalists on the merits of their contentions, Bogle caricatures what they are saying so as to elicit a chorus of hissing and booing from the grandstand before which she indignantly struts back and forth, exhorting her audience to fear and loathing at the Catholic Herald and elsewhere. I am sure she and her public find this approach emotionally satisfying, but it fails to meet the standards of rational discourse, still less rational Catholic discourse. When dealing with the positions taken by traditionalist commentators on the state of the Church today and the reasons for it, the otherwise sober Bogle comes off as little more than a literary harridan.

And so it is with her approach to the traditionalist contention that the Vatican has not been entirely forthcoming regarding publication of the Third Secret of Fatima and that there must be a text in which the Virgin Herself explains the meaning of the vision published on June 26, 2000, wherein we see a future Pope, members of the hierarchy and laity being executed by soldiers on a hill outside a devastated city filled with corpses.

Not just traditionalists, but Catholics the world over find incredible the Vatican’s contention that the vision standing alone is all there is to the Third Secret and that for its “interpretation” we must look to none other than the former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whose “interpretation” is cited no fewer than four times in the Vatican’s “official” (but non-binding) commentary on the vision. According to Sodano, the Secret concerns nothing more than 20th-century events culminating in the failed attempt on the life of John Paul II in 1981. A Pope escaping death at the hands of a lone assassin in 1981 cannot possibly correspond to the vision of a Pope being executed along with clergy and laity on a hill outside a devastated city. Sodano’s “interpretation” is a clumsy contrivance that bespeaks an attempt to obscure rather than reveal the truth.

For Bogle, however, it’s all very simple. We must believe Sodano. The idea that the Mother of God must have explained the vision Herself is just the feverish dream of a few crackpots to be ridiculed and reviled. In full caricature mode, she writes in the Catholic Herald that “Fatimists” contend that “St John Paul and the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger lied in 2000 when the Third Secret was published,” that they are “sinister characters” and that “Pope Emeritus” Benedict XVI “is a virtual prisoner; a double is sometimes presented to the public in his place; he has been hypnotised; he is actually now talking in a sort of code; they are putting drugs in his tea.”

Please. Either Bogle is profoundly ignorant of this subject or deeply dishonest in her discussion of it. None of the serious, carefully researched sources on this controversy advance such laughable contentions. A brief and necessarily partial review of the evidence, more fully summarized here and here, is thus in order by way of response to Bogle’s crude agitprop. That will be subject of the next two columns in this series.

At the outset, however, it must be said that the most likely explanation for the suppression of the explanatory text is not that John Paul and Benedict “lied.” In fact, they never made any positive representations on the matter and never imposed Sodano’s preposterous “interpretation” on the Church. Rather, as the Catholic public intellectual and commentator Antonio Socci maintains, the two pontiffs considered themselves governed by a prudential judgment during the pontificate of John XXIII: that the suppressed text cannot be an authentic revelation by the Virgin and that it reflects only Sister Lucia’s personal impressions.

Indeed, the Vatican’s commentary on the vision suspiciously avoided Sister Lucia’s more complete Fourth Memoir recording the integral Message of Fatima. There we read what would appear to be the beginning of the Virgin’s explanation of the vision: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc.” Lucia added the “etc.” to indicate the Virgin’s further words concerning what would logically be a prophecy of a grave dogmatic crisis in the Church outside of Portugal.

In a blatant attempt to evade the profound implications of the Virgin’s reference to Portugal and the dogma of the Faith, the Vatican relied on the Third Memoir instead of the more complete Fourth, dismissing the reference as “some annotations that were added in the Fourth Memoir” and consigning the Virgin’s words to a footnote. There we have it: the very words of the Virgin, obviously continuing her prophecy, are reduced to “annotations” deemed extrinsic to the Secret. Therefore they need not be published.

In the next two columns I will indicate some of the major grounds for the reasonable belief, held commonly by well-informed Catholics, that Sister Lucia’s “annotations” belong to a suppressed explanatory text that must exist in which the Mother of God continues to speak on the subject She introduces with the momentous reference to Portugal and the dogma of the Faith that the Vatican buried in a footnote in the hope Her words would be forgotten.

For further reading:

Part II:  What Bogle Will Not See

Part III:  Father Dollinger’s Revelation and Pope Benedict’s
Negation of the Vatican Party Line

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20 Responses to A Reply to Joanna Bogle Respecting the Third Secret of Fatima

  1. ginnyfree says:

    Ya know……………..the Queen of Heaven is not to be fought over, but for. Think about it before you cast about for whom to judge next. God bless. Ginnyfree.

  2. Jem Jo says:

    Your insights about “Auntie Joanna” are absolutely correct. While Joanna Bogle’s writings are “cheery” and “glorious”, they often lack depth of thought. She is breezily blind to things pre-Vatican II and harshly condemning in an arrogant way to any who thoughtfully question aspects of it.
    Jem

  3. JabbaPapa says:

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here we go again ….

    Rather than engaging traditionalists on the merits of their contentions, Bogle caricatures what they are saying so as to elicit a chorus of hissing and booing from the grandstand before which she indignantly struts back and forth, exhorting her audience to fear and loathing at the Catholic Herald and elsewhere. I am sure she and her public find this approach emotionally satisfying, but it fails to meet the standards of rational discourse, still less rational Catholic discourse. When dealing with the positions taken by traditionalist commentators on the state of the Church today and the reasons for it, the otherwise sober Bogle comes off as little more than a literary harridan.

    Sheer unadulterated ad hominem. Is one supposed to take this seriously ?

    there must be a text in which the Virgin Herself explains the meaning of the vision

    Stuff, nonsense, and total speculation.

    Quite apart from the fact that the vision was provided as a warning NOT — I repeat NOT — a prophecy.

    The author clearly has not even the faintest clue about what a vision of the Virgin is actually like — you don’t get an instruction manual in the post 5 working days later.

    the Vatican’s contention that the vision standing alone is all there is to the Third Secret and that for its “interpretation” we must look to none other than the former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano

    a) to claim that there is still an “unrevealed” section of the secret is very well known on the basis of extensive hard evidence to be complete bollocks

    b) NO, the Vatican has NEVER suggested that only Cardinal Sodano’s personal interpretation is valid, and that no other interpretations are possible

    The idea that the Mother of God must have explained the vision Herself is just the feverish dream of a few crackpots to be ridiculed and reviled

    Dunno about “reviled”, but ridiculed ? Most certainly.

    Either Bogle is profoundly ignorant of this subject or deeply dishonest in her discussion of it

    Or the Fatimists are themselves profoundly ignorant of this subject or deeply dishonest in their discussion of it. Not that autocritique is their strongest intellectual talent …

    that the suppressed text cannot be an authentic revelation by the Virgin and that it reflects only Sister Lucia’s personal impressions

    No such “suppressed text” exists, and Sr. Lucia herself has very VERY clearly emphasised that much that she wrote has its source in her personal interpretations.

    the evidence, more fully summarized here and here

    Warped allegations based on mendacity and Pope-bashing do not constitute “evidence”.

    Indeed, the Vatican’s commentary on the vision suspiciously avoided Sister Lucia’s more complete Fourth Memoir recording the integral Message of Fatima. There we read what would appear to be the beginning of the Virgin’s explanation of the vision: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc.” Lucia added the “etc.” to indicate the Virgin’s further words concerning what would logically be a prophecy of a grave dogmatic crisis in the Church outside of Portugal.

    That obviously constitutes personal interpretation. Oh and BTW, Portugal is hardly a safe haven for traditionalist theological and philosophical values, is it …

    the very words of the Virgin, obviously continuing her prophecy, are reduced to “annotations” deemed extrinsic to the Secret

    A very forcible lie.

  4. JabbaPapa says:

    Me :

    Oh and BTW, Portugal is hardly a safe haven for traditionalist theological and philosophical values, is it …

    viz. — http://katehon.com/1268-the-crisis-in-portugal-a-political-civil-war-between-liberals.html

    “In what concerns other smaller political forces, the non-liberal parties and groups have only a residual weight in portuguese society, even those related to the portuguese Catholic Church, which is day by day more infected by liberalism, progressivism, and ecumenism, in broad sense.”

  5. Roger says:

    Would have saved so many problems if Heaven had chosen a Theologian at Fatima wouldn’t it? Heaven chose Our Lady (full of Grace) and uneducated children.

    All that is necessary to preserve the Faith in Portugal IS ONE SOUL!

    I have a wonderful modern device called a shredding machine and much that comes out of Rome is neatly filed in that machine.

    In October 2016 the Chinese Yuan becomes a Reserved Currency backed by Gold Reserves. The present two dominant Reserve Currencies are the Dollar and the Euro and these are Bankrupt.

    As far as the West is concerned its Laws are Anti Christian , plural and actually Atheist.

    All that is necessary to know are the fruits and these are rotten. God’s spirit does not reside in those who seek to destroy the souls of the young.

  6. Comments by Pope John Paul II about the ‘third secret’ at Fulda in Germany in November 1980 (verbatim)

    The Holy Father was asked, “What about the Third Secret of Fatima? Should it not have already been published by 1960?”

    Pope John Paul II replied: “Given the seriousness of the contents, my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves.

    “On the other hand, it should be sufficient for all Christians to know this: if there is a message in which it is written that the oceans will flood whole areas of the earth, and that from one moment to the next millions of people will perish, truly the publication of such a message is no longer something to be so much desired.”

    The Pope continued: “Many wish to know simply from curiosity and a taste for the sensational, but they forget that knowledge also implies responsibility. They only seek the satisfaction of their curiosity, and that is dangerous if at the same time they are not disposed to do something, and if they are convinced that it is impossible to do anything against evil.”

    At this point the Pope grasped a Rosary and said: “Here is the remedy against this evil. Pray, pray, and ask for nothing more. Leave everything else to the Mother of God.”

    The Holy Father was then asked: “What is going to happen to the Church?”

    He answered: “We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ … With your and my prayer it is possible to mitigate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed. How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from blood! This time, too, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong and prepared, and trust in Christ and His Mother, and be very, very assiduous in praying the Rosary.”

  7. mmvc says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, Lepanto.
    Much food for thought and good advice from Saint John Paul II.

  8. Roger says:

    Yes to Lepanto’s posting.

    But it simply doesn’t add up does it?

    “Pope John Paul II replied: “Given the seriousness of the contents, my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves.

    The predecessors in the Petrine Office as at 1980 were John XXIII and Paul VI and John Paul I.

    Nothing in the 2000 vision refers to Communism or Russia indeed any country.

    I would simply refer to the approved Apparition at Akita (that like Fatima was October 13)
    The third message of Our Lady of Akita on October 13, 1973:

    “My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior.”
    “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.
    “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests); churches and altars will be sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
    “The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them.
    “With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation.
    “It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community.”
    “You have still something to ask? Today is the last time that I will speak to you in living voice. From now on you will obey the one sent to you and your superior.
    “Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamites which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.”

  9. JabbaPapa says:

    But it simply doesn’t add up does it?

    In fact, yes it jolly well does.

    I would simply refer to the approved Apparition at Akita (that like Fatima was October 13)
    The third message of Our Lady of Akita on October 13, 1973

    The apparition at Akita has been accepted as genuine, but there is ZERO indication that the message was anything other than a private revelation not intended for wide publication to the Faithful.

  10. Roger says:

    If Blog readers are interested.

    Bishop John Ito had presumably John Paul II’s approval (Holy See)

    After eight years of investigating the Akita apparitions and after consulting with the Holy See, Bishop John Ito in 1984 approved the apparitions as genuinely supernatural in origin. He also authorized throughout the entire diocese the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita, saying: “The message of Akita is the message of Fatima.”

  11. JabbaPapa says:

    I’ll suppose you’ll never stop attempting to interpret these things in the silly literalist manner you so onerously insist on.

  12. mmvc says:

    Roger is entitled to express his beliefs in the apparitions and messages of Fatima and Akita without risking criticism or belittlement. PLEASE, no more unpleasant exchanges on this subject! Instead let’s pay heed to the words of St John Paul II: trust in Our Lord and Our Lady and pray the Rosary more fervently than ever so that we are well equipped in the face any trials and tribulations that may come our way.

  13. Lepanto says:

    Telling an obscure nun in Japan things of the most serious and worldwide importance may have been done for her own private consideration but it doesn’t really seem logical does it? It was a very serious warning given to (through?) one of the few who didn’t actually need it.

  14. JabbaPapa says:

    It was a very serious warning given to one of the few who didn’t actually need it

    Every single (genuine) private revelation is given to a person who should benefit from it directly.

  15. Roger says:

    The point is of course John Paul II was talking in 1980 (Akita was 1973 and approved 1984) the matters are contemporary.

    Nothing private about the Prophecies of Fatima neither with Akita. The words private revelation are inappropriate when Popes Obey Prophecy.

    Prophecies of course are conditional and it is this lack of Reparation and Piety that has brought the Atheism of Russia into the West.

    Fatima? science has no explaination but the Miracle was seen up to distance of 40 kilometers in and around Fatima. For those with Faith no explaination is necessary. The difference between the Child and the Wise and Prudent.
    The Church has always had first class miracles and Prophecy, because She is of God and not Man.
    In this post 60’s Curia the human theorising denies the Divine. Hence the terms ‘diplomacy’ should cause concern because Our Lord was Crucified under a diplomatic matter between the Romans, Herod and the then Temple.

  16. JabbaPapa says:

    Nothing private about the Prophecies of Fatima neither with Akita

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html

    The teaching of the Church distinguishes between “public Revelation” and “private revelations”. The two realities differ not only in degree but also in essence. The term “public Revelation” refers to the revealing action of God directed to humanity as a whole and which finds its literary expression in the two parts of the Bible: the Old and New Testaments.

    In this context, it now becomes possible to understand rightly the concept of “private revelation”, which refers to all the visions and revelations which have taken place since the completion of the New Testament. This is the category to which we must assign the message of Fatima. In this respect, let us listen once again to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church… It is not their role to complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history” (No. 67).

    The authority of private revelations is essentially different from that of the definitive public Revelation

    The Flemish theologian E. Dhanis, an eminent scholar in this field, states succinctly that ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation has three elements: the message contains nothing contrary to faith or morals; it is lawful to make it public; and the faithful are authorized to accept it with prudence (E. Dhanis,Sguardo su Fatima e bilancio di una discussione, in La Civiltà Cattolica 104 [1953], II, 392-406, in particular 397). Such a message can be a genuine help in understanding the Gospel and living it better at a particular moment in time; therefore it should not be disregarded. It is a help which is offered, but which one is not obliged to use.

    In every age the Church has received the charism of prophecy, which must be scrutinized but not scorned. On this point, it should be kept in mind that prophecy in the biblical sense does not mean to predict the future but to explain the will of God for the present, and therefore show the right path to take for the future. A person who foretells what is going to happen responds to the curiosity of the mind, which wants to draw back the veil on the future. The prophet speaks to the blindness of will and of reason, and declares the will of God as an indication and demand for the present time. In this case, prediction of the future is of secondary importance. What is essential is the actualization of the definitive Revelation, which concerns me at the deepest level. The prophetic word is a warning or a consolation, or both together.

    Such visions therefore are never simple “photographs” of the other world, but are influenced by the potentialities and limitations of the perceiving subject.

    This can be demonstrated in all the great visions of the saints; and naturally it is also true of the visions of the children at Fatima. The images described by them are by no means a simple expression of their fantasy, but the result of a real perception of a higher and interior origin. But neither should they be thought of as if for a moment the veil of the other world were drawn back, with heaven appearing in its pure essence, as one day we hope to see it in our definitive union with God. Rather the images are, in a manner of speaking, a synthesis of the impulse coming from on high and the capacity to receive this impulse in the visionaries, that is, the children. For this reason, the figurative language of the visions is symbolic. In this regard, Cardinal Sodano stated: “[they] do not describe photographically the details of future events, but synthesize and compress against a single background facts which extend through time in an unspecified succession and duration”. This compression of time and place in a single image is typical of such visions, which for the most part can be deciphered only in retrospect. Not every element of the vision has to have a specific historical sense. It is the vision as a whole that matters, and the details must be understood on the basis of the images taken in their entirety. The central element of the image is revealed where it coincides with what is the focal point of Christian “prophecy” itself: the centre is found where the vision becomes a summons and a guide to the will of God.

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    Roger is entitled to express his beliefs in the apparitions and messages of Fatima and Akita without risking criticism or belittlement

    And I am entitled to point out that that constant allusions to a “hidden portion” of the third secret of Fatima are damaging to the Faith, and that this notion is based on a conspiracy theory that has been very extensively debunked.

  18. ginnyfree says:

    And you do so very well, Jabba. Bravo! Like I said, our Lady is to be fought for and not over. Shame on those who do use her as an excuse to treat others with disrespect and disdain. Some push the envelope so far as to actually use her as a reason to attack the very Church she is the Queen Mother of. Hello? Would she ever suggest even for one single moment that any member of the Church should oppose the Church? Never, yet that is what some would have us believe in their very public interpretations of these private apparitions as if the validity of one apparition give approbation to any and all things they interpret into these same apparitions. But, if you are inclined to interior rebellion, then this is one way it will manifest itself. What better way to openly oppose the Church you secretly resent than to claim the Mother of God directed you to do so second handily via an apparition? No one can take a man a place he isn’t willing to go and some go there too willingly. God bless. Ginnyfree.

  19. Roger says:

    Ginny you are criticising Bishop John Ito and John Paul II.
    Jabba thank you for pointing out to blog members the difference between private Revelations and Prophecy.

    I refer to Lepanto (@Oremus27) August 7, 2016 at 22:15

    What is John Paul II talking of if not a Prophecy with conditions and consequences. We can see that this is the Case through an analysis of His words.

    His words
    “.. With your and my prayer it is possible to mitigate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed. How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from blood! This time, too, it will not be otherwise…”

    “..The Holy Father was asked, “What about the Third Secret of Fatima?
    Pope John Paul II replied: “Given the seriousness of the contents, my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication..”

    The Consequences?
    “..The Holy Father was then asked: “What is going to happen to the Church?”
    He answered: “We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ … With your and my prayer it is possible to mitigate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed. How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from blood! This time, too, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong and prepared, and trust in Christ and His Mother, and be very, very assiduous in praying the Rosary. How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from blood! This time, too, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong and prepared, and trust in Christ and His Mother, and be very, very assiduous in praying the Rosary
    ..”

    After eight years of investigating the Akita apparitions and after consulting with the Holy See, Bishop John Ito in 1984 approved the apparitions as genuinely supernatural in origin. He also authorized throughout the entire diocese the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita, saying: “The message of Akita is the message of Fatima.”

    Now John Paul II in 1980 told US it was to late to avert it!! I take it this mean that in 1960 it was possible to avert It? Whose ‘diplomatic’ decision was it to condemn the Church to a renewal of Blood?

  20. ginnyfree says:

    Roger, you have no authority to speak for either of the two men you claim to speak for. “Ginny you are criticising Bishop John Ito and John Paul II.” This is a blatant lie. I did no such thing. To say I did is a lie. And even if I did criticise something either of them said or did, it is my right and duty according to Canon 212. Unless a statement is made demanding full consent of all the faithful, which nothing about either apparition mentioned, Fatima and Akita, either has been said or could be said, simply because though compelling, they are forbidden by Church law from doing so because they can only solemnly pronounce on doctrine. No private revelation is compulsory on anyone ever, so anything that a Pope says or does regarding any private revelation is his own and not a solemn pronouncement. A Pope who demonstrates devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in any place she has been seen or heard from or in a simple shrine erected to honor her is laudable and shows his own personal devotions, and may be worthy of imitation. This could also be worthy at a level of veneration that is considered during the Cause of Beatification, as was the case with St. John Paul II, it is still only an act of dulia and not as some wish to make others think, is an act that binds the faithful to do likewise or more. As I’ve said before here and elsewhere, many misrepresent the Queen of Heaven and distort her image and message in vain attempts to influence others and even the Church quite often over apparitions and Fatima is one such case. To judge the Church and her visible head in this regard is egregious error and shows a personal arrogance that to me is appalling. They actually try to blame the rise of Communism on the Pope, the Church and any who question them regarding this message from Fatima. It sickens me and try as I may, I cannot seem to dissuade any who do so from dishonoring the Blessed Virgin Mary by using her as an excuse to defy the Church and encourage others to do likewise.

    Roger, please retract you lie.

    God bless. Ginnyfree.

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